WHAT WAS TAUGHT MORE THAN FIFTY YEARS AGO
My dad is eighty-five years old now. Every time I get to see him, he seems more tired, his walk is slower, and he forgets things more often. One of the things that he has very clear and that he will never forget is when he was converted. I do not think he will ever forget that no matter his age. When he talks about his conversion, he will share how God put the right person in his life and how that person taught him the gospel. He will also tell you how his life changed because he stopped being an alcoholic, how he stopped fighting with other men on the streets, how he was able to provide three meals for his wife and children and other stories.
That man who was converted more than fifty years ago, has been used by God to convert others and establish dozens of churches in the South of Mexico in the Yucatan Peninsula. Hundreds of those who have been converted are now preaching in many places in the Mayan villages all around the Yucatan Peninsula and other parts of Mexico. That missionary who converted my father instilled in my father the desire to be useful in the kingdom of God. My father learned that from the missionary, and he has taught the same to many other young preachers.
THE SAME TEACHING CONTINUES IN DECATUR IN THE PRESENT When we started reaching the Hispanic population in Decatur Alabama, we not only wanted them to be converted and become part of the Lord’s church. We wanted them to become useful members in the kingdom of God. That’s why we have been able to send entire families to start other congregations in north Alabama, in other states and in other countries. What that missionary taught my father, my father taught to others and me and now I am teaching it to others.
More than one time I have been asked by other Hispanic ministers the following question: Why do you continue to send your members away? It is an honest question and by this they mean, “you could have a very big Hispanic congregation if you keep all your members and do not encourage them to leave”. That is very true, we could have a very large congregation. But if did that, would not be obeying the great commission. The dozens of churches who have been planted by our members would not exist, if we wanted to be selfish.
I am thankful for that missionary who taught my father right. I am thankful that my father taught me that same desire to reach the lost and train them to do the same. I am sure that missionary learned from God who instructed the apostle Paul to write in 2 timothy 2:2 “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” To God be the glory for His infinite wisdom.